SWT: Melissa’s Garden

SWT: Melissa’s Garden

So I feel a little pressure doing the first “Stuff We’ve Tried” post. I mean, we are girls who have tried a lot of things.

Wait, that sounds bad.

Rather, we are four ambitious girls, each in her own way. Each of us has a sizable list of culinary, musical, domestic, social, spiritual, and physical endeavors.

Today I’m going to share more about my gardening endeavors. I know, how boring is that? But you guys, I am unreasonably excited about my second stab at home-grown organic vegetables.

My first try at this was the summer of 2010 – between babies, and with a mere quarter acre to tend. I proudly decided to grow some tomatoes and bell peppers on a tiny bit of ground in between our house and the ramp that went down one side. Seriously, it was about 2 square feet of earth. But I tended, staked, and nursed those four plants to the end. The tomatoes were so happy that they became unwieldy, heavily leaning away from the stakes and ties and draping across the ramp.

My bumper crop of tomatoes resulted in long boiling and peeling sessions that produced a rather bland but incredibly fresh tomato sauce. I was unreasonably proud.

I may be ambitious, but I’m not stupid. For my second endeavor, my husband built three raised beds, 8 feet by 4 feet. It doesn’t sound like much, and they look tiny in the back corner of our multi-acre yard. But listen to what we have planted right now: kale, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, peas, spinach, lettuce, carrots, onions, and potatoes. Later, we’ll add beans, tomatoes, and peppers among other things.

EarlySpringGarden    Not much to look at yet..

The “we” in this story is not my dearly beloved and I. Randy is very supportive and built the beds for us, but the gardening “we” is my stepmom and I. She has many years of experience gardening, and brought some blueberry bushes and plum trees (and lots of flowers) when they moved here last year. I suspect that my incessant need to research and her vast experience and knowledge will make us a good team as long as I don’t drive her crazy.

Right now, the seedlings are just popping up out of the soil. Call me naive, but I’m so looking forward to harvesting our little crop. (Of course, I may be totally overwhelmed and approaching strangers on the street with bags of vegetables in four months…)

Other gardening endeavors involved getting poison ivy for the sixth time. (I know, I know – yard pig!) The poison ivy was lying dormant underneath our quince tree, and I was cleaning out underneath the tree late this winter. I didn’t realize that (apparently) I was rolling around in the roots of poison ivy. Understandably, my dermatologist treated me like a child when I went to see her, practically asking, “You DO know that you shouldn’t touch poison ivy, right?”


But finally, under the quince tree is cleared, our freakish “pear bush” is gone, and the shrubs around the house are pruned. What, you don’t have a pear bush? We suspect that one of our Bartlett pear trees lost a limb which was left where it fell, and the strangest-looking bush-like thing resulted. No one could figure out what it was, but a few people did say, “Wait – those leaves look like your pear trees…” Finally, we decided that was what happened and that it needed to go.

PearBush    Pear Bush

There’s still a ton on the gardening to-do list. Pruning all the crepe myrtles and finishing the new bed outside the sunroom are next, as well as finally mowing the yard sometime this week. Even though I get a bit stressed by the length of the list, I’m happy and love the time outside and exercise.

I’ll keep you posted!

Melissa sig

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